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April 17, 2011

Justin Verlander Commits Greatest Balk Ever...And the Weirdest


If you're going to throw an illegal pitch, might as well make it spectacular. Or in the case of Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, spectacularly weird.

In the fifth inning against the A's Saturday, Verlander did this (see the video below) with David DeJesus at the plate.

After the umps scratched their heads for awhile, they eventually decided Verlander had thrown an extremely illegal pitch. A balk was called, the runner on first base moved to second and DeJesus' at-bat continued. 

We still don't understand what the #$#& the righty was doing, and we've watched it 10 times. In the end, we're calling it this: The greatest (and weirdest) balk ever. 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's got to be a balk. Nobody knows what it is!

Anonymous said...

disconnected brain on the pitcher. thinking about two things at the same time caused it.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what happened...he was thinking about throwing over to first base and what he wanted to do with his next pitch, and accidentally combined the two

Anthony said...

crazy play , he didnt know what he wanted to do with the ball

Anonymous said...

Obviously Verlander is not a multi-tasker.

Anonymous said...

I think he wanted to throw to first but wasn't thinking straight and threw to the catcher instead.

Anonymous said...

If you watch it in slow motion he did not balk. He 1st stepped off with his right foot, although the left foot was very close to moving also. I think Wally Bell and the rest of the crew will be happy with their decision as umpires but I think it was a step off with a no pitch. But, Verlander is probably pretty embarrassed by it.

Nigel said...

No...he DID balk. Once he stepped off the rubber, he can then only hold the ball or throw to first. You cannot throw or fake to an unoccupied base. Home plate of course is not technically a "base", but the only motion you can make to home is a pitch or a step off to a throw when a runner is stealing home. Since there was no runner at or stealing home, stepping off made his throw a balk. Not sure I explained that clear enough...

Anonymous said...

I think he wanted to go to the plate but with a motion that would cause the runner at first to believe that there was going to be a pick-off attempt and cause him to move back toward the bag rather than attempt a steal or hit and run.

In other words, he tried to get cute on his delivery and ended up being off balance and nearly hit the batter.

Anonymous said...

OK, I thought once he stepped back off the rubber with his right foot, he could throw to any player and since it was a passed ball the runner moved up to second base. The batter could not have legally hit the ball because it was not a legal pitch, only a throw. AS unorthodox as it looked I did not see a balk and the reason the batter did not get awarded first base on being hit, it was not a legal pitch. So the runner runs at his own risk.

Anonymous said...

Nigel is right, it is a balk because it is an illegal pitch. Rule 2.00 of the MLB Rule Book says "An ILLEGAL PITCH is (1) a pitch delivered to the batter when the pitcher does not
have his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate...An illegal pitch when runners are on base is a balk."

Anonymous said...

He can step off the rubber and throw to any base. (i.e. appealing a tag up play) However, like stated above, it is an illegal pitch causing a balk.

Tracy Kemmer said...

Son of a B- - - - -. I laughed till my sides hurt. Very "crazy weird" for sure. I love my Tigers however this has left me speechless.
Tracy from Jackson, Michigan.

Anonymous said...

OR, on the spur of the moment, he faked like he was going to first on his initial step and tried to sneak a pitch past the batter -- and just blew it. Check the reaction of the batter to his throw; there is none until the ball was on top of him. Now imagine if the ball was thrown in the strike zone; that would have been a strike. The batter never would have swung at that

That is, until the umps convened and ruled it an illegal pitch

an anonymous guy named Brian

Anonymous said...

There was a weird one where one of the Rockies or Diamondbacks barely moved his hand backwards but as he did not pitch a balk was called.
That was on the night Roger Clemens lifted his had up and then turned towards third base then he set down and again lifted his had and then turned towards first base.
If anyone else but that HGH using head hunting bastard had done the same a balk would have been called on both occasions.

Anonymous said...

I think he was throwing at the batter without him moving to first. You can bean him and the only thing that happens is the runner moves to second and a sore hitter steps back into the box.